HELP! iCloud has merged all of our contacts ArghhH!

Discussion in 'iOS 5 and earlier' started by dealmaker, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. dealmaker macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2010
    So there are four of us in my household all with iPhone 4's and all on the same iTunes account.

    I upgraded all the phones to IOS5 - and used the iCloud service - now I have all my wires, daughters and sons contacts on my phone - and they all have each others!!! Its a mess.

    If i try to turn off the contacts button in "iCloud" - and then "delete contacts form phone" - I end up with a totally empty phone bereft of any contacts whatsoever!!

    How do I get my own contacts ONLY to show up - and the same for everyone else??? HELP!!!

    Also - when I call my wife - the caller ID shows up as me "plus 5 other devices" - and same when she calls me?? what's that all about?

  2. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Cannot be fixed. They all must be on separate accounts. Such is the way of the iCloud. :)

    You can probably have a single iTunes account, but multiple iCloud accounts. iCloud merges all contacts together that are on the same account. That's the entire point.
  3. Jazwire macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2009
    Create an iCloud email for each family member.

    This confused me as well.

    You can still share the iTunes email/account for music & apps purposes.
    iCloud accounts have nothing to do with iTunes/AppStore at all , its separate. (This is confusing alot of people, including me at first.)
  4. dealmaker thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2010

    Can they all us their own e-mail addresses as they ID's or do I need to set up new Apple ID's for them??
  5. BuddyTronic macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    OK, I have a similar issue.

    I have about 500 contacts in my address book and I have them separated into about a dozen "Groups"

    One of the Groups is for my kid's iPhone, and it has all his friends and contacts.

    He obviously doesn't need all the other contacts.

    So how can I export that group from Address Book and get it into his own iCloud account?

    Ideally, I would have liked it if Apple had made sharing of an Address Book "Group" work the same way as for sharing a Calendar. For instance I have iCal running with about 8 separate calendars. I have one just for a kids events, so I can keep them clear of my business when I want to by switching a calendar off temporarily. I then want to allow certain relatives, (and my kid) to be able to interact and have the calendar on their devices. For iCal, iCloud seems to be even better than MobileMe (now that any person can get a free iCloud account and subscribe to a shared calendar). But these contacts are a pain in the butt.

    I used to use Now Up To Date and Contact, for many many years and it was great, (and Eudora for Email), but these days I get pretty apps with very little functionality to them, dumbed down for the illiterates.


    The only solution I can think of so far is to install the "Bump" app and then share a whack of contacts with my kid's iPhone, and maybe this will work. But I'd sure like to know if anyone out there has found other better ways to do it.

    The kid is 12 years old, and I would like to be able to monitor his contacts list, and have a copy for convenience also, but it's looking like this is a "one way" DIY export - quick and dirty style, and missing all the supposed goodness that the "digital lifestyle" is supposed to offer.

    Hope someone gets a clue and puts some effort into making Mail, iCal, Addressbook better. There is little incentive for a company to compete with the glossy, solid, integrated and free Apple Mail and iCal and address book, and in a way it's a shame because there doesn't seem to be much incentive for Apple to truly make these essential applications.

    There's my beef - maybe someone out there has figured out other ways to get contacts separated and then shared?
  6. luckysob macrumors regular

    Mar 29, 2011
    I gave in early and took my contacts out of the cloud, and set them up as sync only per device through iTunes. Easiest way to manage them how you are accustomed to do so.
  7. BuddyTronic macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    Also, I'd like to share my "Family" group of contacts with my sisters.

    They are quite clueless, but some do have iPhones, and I would like to help them to avoid actually retyping in all our family data. Some effort was put in to get the contact data all nice and clean and even with pictures automatically put in from iPhoto - (nice touch that you can do that - very slick!).

    But I'd still like to just send the "family" group to my sisters so they can add it to their iOS devices. It would sure be nice if you could create "groups" of contacts on the iOS devices. I have groups on my own iPhone only because I think I synched up from my macbook pro address book.

    I'm falling into loopholes. Someone at Apple needs to fix this stuff. Computers should make data sharing simple and easy, not convoluted.


    Aha - yes I guess that could work. Sortof.

    I don't want to have to actually visit my sisters and ask them for passwords and crap and deal with their iTunes synch. It's bad enough that "iTunes" synchs contacts - explaining these analogies and weirdness to my sisters would be very taxing on my patience, and this is why the illiterates can only manage to use iOS in the first place. But I guess I'm getting a little crabby. Such a simple thing one would think, but there is always a catch or loophole preventing me from doing something that seems so commonplace.

    How hard would it be to put an "export group to a batch VCF file" or some such thing that any program would be able import? Can't even do that. I have to export one card at a time, and then how do I even get a Vcard VCF thing into an iOS device - clicking on an attachment in Email? Doubt that even works.

    Thinking it through some more.
  8. dealmaker thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2010
    But........and its a BIG but............................if I give them all their own iCloud ID's - will they all lose the ability to browse and play the iTunes purchased content that is stored in the iCloud for the main iTunes account ID - i.e mine?

    So they will have their own iCloud accounts - but it will only store their own contacts etc. - they will depend on a hard wired synch to put music on their respective devices and iCloud will therefore largely become useless to them?
  9. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    As far as I know, yes, they won't be able to download music from iCloud that is shared. You'll have to do a wifi or hard wired sync.

    Pretty sure you need iTunes Match to do that anyway.
  10. kicko macrumors 65816

    Aug 26, 2008
    as far as i know from my setup with the same situation you can plug a different apple account/ID into itunes other then the one used in icloud. So your purchases come from the same payment and itunes account while your data gets saved on each person

    of course you need to also enable family sharing.
  11. Pravda macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2008
    How do i set up an iCloud account?
    Sorry, just really confused with this.
    When i try on the iphone, it keeps saying apple id, not iCloud account.

    Wife and i share the same apple id to purchase music, apps, etc.

    I'd like to keep it this way but not merge all contacts together or merge data in our apps together.
  12. dccorona macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2008
    you need to manually sort out everyones contacts...if you have a computer where everyones contacts are stored locally in the proper groups (such as under different user accounts) or were previously using a different service like google contacts or windows live contacts, that will work too.

    what Im going to suggest is you keep ALL the contacts on the iTunes account iCloud, and just not use the iCloud features of it...ONLY use that account for iTunes store purchases (you can have seperate iCloud and iTunes accounts on your phone).

    Then, delete the iCloud account from each of your phones, and sync them with the good contacts data you have (through the computer, google contacts, etc).

    Finally, set up iCloud on each device again, but this time make a NEW apple account...this will be that devices iCloud account. Now you each have indicidual iCloud accounts but are still sharing an iTunes account for purchases

    If you dont fix this, you will soon see everyones photos getting intermingled...perhaps a good way to keep watch on what your kids are doing, but very annoying as well!
  13. dojoman macrumors 65816

    Apr 8, 2010
    How do you exactly create a separate iCloud account? I have .me email account that is associated with my iTunes. Is that a separate account? But when I log in to with either iTunes or .me sign in I can see the same contacts. Where do I sign up for a new iCloud account?
  14. dccorona macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2008
    remove the iCloud account from your iDevice, and then go to log back in, and you should see the option to create one...might be there on the website as well
  15. TheNinjaJedi macrumors regular


    Jul 16, 2011
    I had this problem too, had to manually sort it all out for each account. took a while.
  16. Frazzle, Oct 13, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011

    Frazzle macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2007
    Confusing, isn't it: iTunes vs. MobileMe vs. iCloud

    Apple has created a mess with all this iCloud vs. MobileMe vs. iTunes stuff and the term 'Apple ID', and my biggest gripe is that, in typical Apple fashion, there is hardly any explanation of it. Let me try to recap.

    • Your iTunes account governs your purchases of music, films, tv shows and books. Many families share this iTunes ID across devices so they have a single content library. Apple refers to your iTunes account as your 'Apple ID'.
    • Your MobileMe account used to be a separate entity for syncing mail/calendars/contacts. Because it used to be a paid service, many people only have iTunes accounts and use some other service to sync the rest. Apple also refers to your MobileMe account as your 'Apple ID'.
    • Now there's iCloud. Apple is marketing this as a fully integrated experience, but it's not. It still allows you to use separate Apple ID's for paid content (the old 'iTunes account') and the mail/calendar/contacts/storage side of the house (the old 'MobileMe account'). Unfortunately, both are known as 'Apple ID'.

    So when you move to iOS 5, the device asks you to provide an Apple ID. Which one?

    1. If you have a MobileMe account that's also your iTunes account: you're the perfect customer. Just enter your details now and it will become an iCloud account.
    2. If you only have a MobileMe account (no iTunes): login with the MobileMe account now, it will become an iCloud account. Add credit card details and you'll be the perfect customer.
    3. If you only have an iTunes account (no MobileMe): setup a new iCloud account now for mail/calendars/contacts/etc and use your old iTunes account (across devices) as the Apple ID in the App Store, iTunes Store and Bookstore.
    4. If you have separate iTunes and MobileMe accounts: login with the MobileMe account now, it will become an iCloud account. Keep using your old iTunes account (across devices) as the Apple ID in the App Store, iTunes Store and Bookstore.

    Most families will probably find themselves in the third (or fourth) situation.

    The idea is to give each member of the family their own iCloud account for mail/calendars/contacts/storage. You then provide your old iTunes account as the Apple ID for all the paid content stores, so their devices will run with two Apple IDs. That way, you can share paid content in one library and still manage your own mail etc.

    Doesn't solve the problem for sharing contacts with family members though. This should actually be a feature. If people can subscribe to a named, shared calendar, why can't you have named, shared contact groups? And for that matter, named, shared photo streams as well? I'd ask Apple to add that feature.
  17. wingsabr macrumors 6502


    Dec 13, 2008
    ta da...too bad I had to figure this out the hard way last week.
  18. BuddyTronic macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    You got it right Frazzle, glad at least that other people have the same issue with this stuff.

    I can go on and on about these loophole situations.

    I'm certain if I was an Apple manager I could kick some butt and make everyone happy. I think they just need to get some people in there who are using these things.

    The fact that you cannot easily share groups of contacts really sticks out to me because it would be a no brainer to at least to something similar to how calendars can be shared.

    Someone has got to care about this stuff and do it at Apple. It's not hard to find these little problems. They gotta fix it, but hey I have been waiting through many revisions of "Mail" and it's still crap compared to Eudora c1997 in darn near every feature.
  19. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    Create an Apple ID for each. Use that to sign them into the cloud.

    Use your main iTunes Apple ID as the ID for the store on each device. This will enable you all to share your library (apps, music, etc.)

    All is well.
  20. crash02 macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2010
    Is there any way to delete what's in the "cloud"? My wife and my contatcs are all in the same cloud. I have a seperate @me address that I have made but it still has all the contacts that were tied to my first itunes acount. So when I sign in on my new @me account it puts all of our contacts right back on the phone.
  21. iceterminal macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2008
    Dallas Tx.
    I think I've found your problem.
    I'm not trying to bad on anyone, but I still have never seen a reason or a need to share your Apple ID with anyone in your family.
    With Home Sharing, there is no need to use "one ID so we can share purchases".
    And while I could be wrong, I believe this is the main misconception people use as to them using 1 account.
  22. crash02 macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2010
    Never knew that. Can you have two different ID's on the same computer with no issues?
  23. scottish macrumors 6502a

    Aug 10, 2011
    But hasn't home sharing only been around for a couple of years?
  24. green94 macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2009
    Came across this looking for an answer to another question and had no idea you could do this... so THANK you.
  25. milo macrumors 604

    Sep 23, 2003

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